Scene with Ivy, Nick and Phoebe:
Ivy narrowed her eyes. If he thought he could sway her, win her over with that come-hither charm of his, then, well, Nick Marcelli had another thing coming. She wouldn’t be swayed. Not by that smile. Not by those smoldering eyes or his dark hair or—”
“Nick!” a voice called out. “Oh, hello, Ivy.” The voice belonged to no other than Phoebe. Phoebe’s gaze fell on Ivy’s book bag and without another word, she slid into the booth against Nick.
“You’re so bookish, Ivy. Helping Nick with one of his classes?”
“We weren’t studying,” Ivy said firmly.
She had no idea why she felt the need to be so defensive. Her tone caught Nick’s attention, and he raised an eyebrow in question. It didn’t escape her that he hadn’t moved over to offer Phoebe more room. Was he trying to see what her reaction would be? From the subtle disapproving look he’d given Phoebe, Ivy decided Nick wasn’t thrilled about the intrusion, either.
And what did she care, anyway?
“Actually,” Nick said. “We’re on a date.”
Phoebe looked at Ivy. “Really? Weren’t you dating a lizard?”
“Ivy and I had a little spat, that’s all,” Nick lied.
Ivy and Phoebe both stared at him in disbelief. What was he doing? What a ridiculous story! This was his great plan?
“But we patched things up,” he said quickly.
“Oh,” Phoebe said, sounding disappointed. Yet, she didn’t miss a beat. “So how is Spike, Ivy?”
“Still missing,” Ivy grumbled.
“Well, better luck with your next creation.” Phoebe turned and smiled devilishly at Nick. “Made up dates are so much easier to handle than demons like Nick here.” She patted Nick’s leg.
Ivy took a deep breath. “Hate to be rude Phoebe, but our food is getting cold.”
Phoebe slid out of the booth. “When you get smart, call me, okay, Nick?”
Ivy glared after Phoebe. She pointed a finger at her and cast a spell that made the back of Phoebe’s hair frizz. Nothing permanent, it’d last a half-hour, tops. It made her stop and consider why she’d done it, but she couldn’t come up with a reason except that Phoebe had pissed her off—just like Tara had yesterday. Still, she should be careful. Throwing hexes around after last night, even small ones, would only bring unwanted attention. And it’d be worse if word of the book ever got out.
She took a deep breath. It was okay, she was just on edge. That’s all. Perfectly understandable. She caught Nick snickering and leaned toward him, “Please don’t tell me that was your plan to rescue my reputation as a lizard lover.”
Nick looked at her sheepishly. “Well, yeah. It sorta was.”
Ivy leaned back and took a sip of her soda. That was the best Nick Marcelli, Master of Mystery and Chaos, could do?
“So, are you jealous?” Nick asked.
“What?” Ivy said, nearly choking.
“Are you jealous? Even a little? I mean, some of the guys think Phoebe is pretty hot. At least before you made her look like a Chia Pet. Nice. I like a girl who isn’t afraid of a little mischief.”
All laughter vanished. Was she jealous? No, she couldn’t be. She liked Dean, and Nick was nothing like Dean. Dean was predictable, outgoing, and far from mysterious. And Phoebe? Well, Phoebe was just being bitchy and had irked her at a bad time. “No,” she said. “Not at all.”
Nick smiled and leaned forward. He gently grasped one of her hands. When their eyes locked, Ivy didn’t pull away. Why didn’t she pull away? Why couldn’t she look away?
“Oh, come on Ivy. We both know you only think you want Dean. Now, I may not be anything like him, but I’m not like anyone else you’ll ever meet, either.”
Two women raced past them outside the window. One screamed for help. But what the other cried out caught her attention the most.
“Right here in Northwick. In daylight! He’s been murdered!”
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